By Amy Kaufman
10:25 PM CST, November 12, 2012
It may seem like "Twilight" is coming to a close -- what with thousands of fans descending upon Los Angeles Monday night for the premiere of the final film.
But the journey isn't yet over for the stars of "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 2," who will jet to Europe this evening after attending the film's Hollywood premiere.
"Knowing we have to go to London tonight and then to Madrid is so annoying," said Robert Pattinson, decked out in a green Gucci suit.
Kristen Stewart seemed more taken with the present moment. Asked how it felt to know the vampire franchise was finally coming to a close, she could only muster the word "surreal."
"I know the most go-to answer for everyone on these carpets is 'Oh my gosh, this is so surreal,'" she said, affecting a valley girl voice. "But to be honest with you, this time is so completely surreal. I'm trying to absorb it. I'm trying to be here."
Taylor Lautner, meanwhile, recalled walking his first red carpet for the original film in 2008, during which he said he was "freaking out."
"I was so excited I remember just diving into the fans," he said, flanked by security guards who didn't look pleased at the thought of the actor crowdsurfing.
"They might freak out a little, but you gotta do it sometimes," he said, eyeing his bodyguard with a smile.
His co-star Maggie Grace, who plays Irina in the film, said she understands the devotion Twi-hards feel toward the franchise because she felt that way about Jane Austen in high school. Yes, the 19th century British author.
"If there was an Austen-ite community, I would have been a big part of it," she said, noting that she used to own a "muslin afternoon tea dress" in honor of the famous novelist's characters.
The fan fervor affected director Bill Condon in a different way. The filmmaker, best known for the musical "Dreamgirls" before signing on to the last two "Twilight" movies, said he'll long remember the experience of working on a franchise with such a big fan base.
"Working on a movie that has such a direct connection to the audience I think gives you a heightened awareness of how what you do affects people when they see it," Condon explained.
And for those Twi-hards who are taking the ending of the franchise particularly hard, don't worry -- "The Host," a new film based on a Stephenie Meyer book, is set to hit theaters next year.
Though it may not star Bella and Edward, the film's star Saoirse Ronan thinks it will appeal to "Twilight" fans.
"It's still Stephenie and it's still the same kind of writing," the 18-year-old said. "She's still got that magic touch for storytelling, so hopefully they'll enjoy it."